John Newton was a rough, dirty sailor with a foul mouth and an appetite for rotten living. He hated life and life hated him. He was captain of a slave ship. . He also had the gift of a good mother who told him about the Saviour when he was young. Then someone placed in his hands a copy of Thomas a Kempis The Imitation of ChristAnd then he was saved. He went all over England sharing his faith.
Well past his “retirement” age, he had to have an assistant stand in the pulpit with him on Sundays. He was nearly blind and spoke in whispers, but nothing could keep him from preaching while he still had breath.
One Sunday, while delivering his message he repeated the sentence: “Jesus Christ is precious.” His helper whispered to him: “But you have already said that twice.”
Newton turned to his helper and said loudly, “Yes, Ive said it twice, and Im going to say it again.”
The stones in the ancient sanctuary fairly shook as the grand old preacher said again: “Jesus Christ is precious!”